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UHNM pioneering COVID-19 recovery with thermographic technology first

Pictured from left: Kirsty Mountford, Senior Staff Nurse, Trish Lavin, Directorate Information Governance Manager and Allan Padrejuan, Imaging Nurse Manager

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has become the first UK healthcare organisation to deploy innovative new thermographic technology to protect front-line NHS workers and patients from a second wave of COVID-19 coronavirus cases, leading the way on the UK’s road to recovery.

UHNM, which runs Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital, Stafford has installed the first of eight thermal cameras funded by the Denise Coates Foundation as part of its £10 million commitment to UHNM Charity in response to Covid-19.

Patients coming to the Royal Stoke for diagnostic scans will be the first to benefit from the introduction of the thermal scanners with cameras now in use in the hospital’s radiology outpatient department, preventing potential Covid-19 positive staff and patients from spreading the virus on site.

An additional six cameras are to be deployed strategically around the hospitals in key areas designed to prevent potential COVID-19 carriers from entering and transmitting the virus to other patients and staff.

As UHNM continues its recovery from the COVID-19, it will introduce green areas, for non COVID-19 patients, and blue areas, for COVID-19 patients only, and plans to install each of its cameras at entrances to green areas to enable the interception of anybody displaying signs of fever at the earliest possible opportunity.

SCC, Europe’s largest independent IT solutions provider, has developed the ceiling-mounted camera unit, which is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and uses devices ranging from handheld to fixed multi-camera systems. The cameras record body temperature and identify anyone displaying signs of fever, with real-time alerts to enable interception and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases.

John Oxtoby, UHNM Medical Director, said: “As the UK continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure people remain safe and well, particularly those who we are inviting back into hospital for important diagnostic tests and appointments. Thanks to the generosity of the Denise Coates Foundation we are proud to be leading the way, as the first NHS Trust to deploy thermographic technology, to instil confidence and ensure we are alerted to potential carriers of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases at the earliest opportunity.”

Mark Bostock, Director of Information Management and Technology for UHNM, said: “SCC’s Thermographic Screening solutions enable us to use technology as an early warning signal to protect against complacency and a second outbreak. This new thermographic camera technology will help UHNM defend against COVID-19 now and in the long-term.”

Daniel Cartter, Head of Innovation for SCC, said: “It has been wonderful to work with UHNM, there are such innovative and forward thinking people right across the Trust, it is no surprise to see them leading the way in applying cutting edge technology, such as thermal screening, to help protect staff and patients.”